Domestic Abuse Bill - EHRC second briefing
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has released a new briefing for Committee Stage of the Domestic Abuse Bill in the House of Lords.
This second briefing focusses on amendments to improve protections for survivors in the courts (recommendation 3 below) and can be read here: EHRC briefing (courts protections) – Domestic Abuse Bill – Lords Committee Stage .
Our first briefing, sent last Thursday, focusses on recommendations 1, 2, 4 and 5 below.
A full list of our key recommendations on the Bill is set out below.
We welcome the opportunity the Bill presents to ensure better support and protection for survivors of domestic abuse in England and Wales. A number of important improvements to the Bill have been made by the Government since the Bill began its passage.
However, we consider changes are still required for this to be the transformative legislation the Government aims it to be and to achieve compliance with the Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) and with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
We recommend changes to the Bill in five priority areas, and support to corresponding amendments, to ensure:
- Sufficient specialist support services, provided in the community as well as in refuges, and available to all without discrimination. (See Briefing 1)
- New Clause 176: Provision of sufficient specialist domestic abuse services.
- New Clause 177: Duty on police and crime commissioners to cooperate in relation to local strategies under the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015.
- Equal protection and support for migrant survivors. (See Briefing 1)
- New Clause 160: Effective protection and support for all victims of domestic abuse.
- New Clause 151: Victims of domestic abuse: leave to remain and the DDVC.
- New Clause 154: Victims of domestic abuse: data-sharing for immigration purposes.
- Improved protections for survivors in the courts and consistency across all court jurisdictions. (See Briefing 2)
- Amendments 109, 111, 112 and 113 to Clause 62 (special measures in civil proceedings)
- Amendments 124, 125 and 126 to Clause 64 (prohibition of cross-examination in person in civil proceedings)
- Improved protections for disabled survivors subject to coercive control. (See Briefing 1)
- New Clause 171: Repeal of provisions about defence for controlling or coercive behaviour offence.
- Guidance issued under the Bill takes into account the cross-government violence against women and girls (VAWG) strategy. (See Briefing 1)
- Amendment 185 to Clause 73.